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Qais Akbar Omar (GRS’16), a graduate student in the Creative Writing Program, has published a much-praised memoir, A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story. He recalls how the violence and tumult of civil war jolted his family, who, despite losing relatives, their home, and possessions, continued to nurture his wish to attend a university.

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Faculty Accolades

April 2012

Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, recently published an article by Professor of Astronomy John Clarke and Laurent Lamy of the Observatoire de Meudon in France (first author) on the first detection of aurora on Uranus since the Voyager 2 flyby in 1986. Read more


Assistant Professor of Earth Sciences Wally Fulweiler has been awarded a 2012 Sloan Research Fellowship—one of this year’s 126 recipients. The two-year fellowships are given to young academic scholars who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in their respective fields of science, mathematics, economics, and computer science. This year, the fellowships were expanded to include ocean sciences, with each winner receiving $50,000.


Associate Professor of Archaeology Christopher Roosevelt and Senior Lecturer in the Writing Program Christina Luke have been awarded a $35,000 grant from the Loeb Classical Library Foundation (based in the Classics Department at Harvard University). The grant will support their research into the cultural and environmental dynamics of the ancient kingdom of Central Lydia in Turkey.


Professor of Geography & Environment Alan Strahler was awarded the 2011 William T. Pecora Award, presented annually to individuals or groups that make outstanding contributions toward understanding the Earth by means of remote sensing. The award is sponsored jointly by the Department of the Interior and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.


Professor and Chair of Political Science Graham Wilson, who has been serving on the University of Warwick’s Warwick Commission, was in London on Monday to attend the launch of the commission’s summary report, “What is the Role of Elected Mayors in Providing Strategic Leadership to Cities?” The report comes out in advance of the May 3 referenda on instituting elected mayors in ten English cities.


Assistant Professor of History Brooke Blower has won the Chinard Prize of the Society for French Historical Studies. The prize, awarded for Blower’s 2011 book, Becoming Americans in Paris, recognizes the best book published on the history of France and the Americas, covering any time period.


In March, Skidmore College awarded an honorary doctorate to Ha Jin, a professor in the Creative Writing Program. In addition, his novel Nanjing Requiem was selected by the Hong Kong magazine Asian Weekly as the top novel of 2011 published in Chinese.


The Encyclopaedia Britannica featured Professor of History Nina Silber on its online blog, discussing gender roles during the Civil War. Watch the interview


Adjunct Associate Professor of Biology Lisa Sorenson has been awarded a Partners in Flight and North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI) Bird Conservation Award for 2011 for her exceptional contributions to the field of migratory bird conservation.